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Nurses 'disappointed and angry' after talks to save youth mental health beds collapse

Beds at the child and adolescent mental health services unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin have not been refilled due to staff shortages.

Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

TALKS AIMED AT saving youth mental health beds at a west Dublin hospital collapsed today, with nurses saying they are ‘disappointed and angry’.

Beds at the child and adolescent mental health services unit at Cherry Orchard Hospital in Dublin have not been refilled due to staff shortages.

Minister for Mental Health Helen McEntee says the beds cannot be refilled at present due to staffing shortages. Half of the 34 nursing posts in the Linn Dara ward are currently vacant.

Speaking today after talks with the HSE collapsed, the head of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) Peter Hughes said that proposals, believed to include a €3,000 payment for nurses who stay at the facility for a year, were rejected.

“The HSE was able to tell us that there is a waiting list of 20 children for Linn Dara, but they were unable to consider realistic proposals to meet the staffing shortage and keep these vital beds open.

The reality is that there is a shortage of psychiatric nurses to fill HSE posts and without a financial incentive that matches what is on offer to nurses in the private sector then these posts are unlikely to be filled in the short to medium term.

“The closure of 50% of the CAMHS beds in Linn Dara from next week will create nothing short of a crisis for child and adolescent services in the Dublin region. It is now up to Minister McEntee to avert these bed closures and introduce measures to attract staff into services such as Linn Dara and begin to address the problem of recruitment and retention in CAMHS and mental health services throughout the country.”

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McEntee has says that no patients at the unit for children and teenagers will be discharged due to the closure of beds.

Read: Minister insists no child will lose mental health place after ‘indefensible’ closure of beds

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